Monday, January 8, 2018

Our 1 year Cambodia Anniversary

Well here we are! Exactly 1 year ago (and a day or two now...) from we arrived close to midnight, exhausted, excited, nervous, and at least for me scared. Wondering what we had just done, what we were thinking, and if we were crazy...

Now, a year later we are surprised by how much we truly love Cambodia. We miss people we love deeply all the time. I often long for family, and close friends that we left behind. It is amazing to see how God has provided for us this last year, and I look forward to seeing how He will provide this next year! Yesterday we spent the day reminiscing and celebrating all we have learned this year, and how much more dependent on the Holy Spirit we have learned to be in our day to day life. I know that now more than ever before I depend more on the Holy Spirit in my parenting, my marriage, and even when I go out to run errands. Listening to those nudgings, and promptings, He so graciously gives, and listening to the best of my ability even if it doesn't make sense. I truly believe this has been a critical thing to learn this last year, learning a new culture, and language.

Today, was a fairly normal Monday. The girls and I did school, and went to play group. We are helping a short term volunteer with somethings as she gets settled for her week of service at a clinic here, and I love how normal all of this seems now.

At this moment in time Chris and I both are slowing down our formal language learning, as the team begins projects and finishes up the start up things for the office. We are doing this for multiple reasons, obviously for Chris it is a transition into working in the office and finally doing the fun things he came to help do! For me it is more because my brain needed a break, a chance to catch up, review, and practice what I have already learned. I needed to just stop and review vocabulary and practice reading and writing. Language learning certainly hasn't stopped, but it has slowed. Anytime you are learning something new I think often your brain needs that time to process, and review and practice. So that's my goal. I am meeting with a  teacher 2 hours a week, and reviewing more on my own at home.

We have had a quite a few visitors and it is fun to see that we know things now. Things we didn't know a year ago. I now, for sure understand when people say they will never feel fluent in a second language, and I totally get it when someone knows English well, but it is still tricky to sometimes communicate. I often understand the main idea or the gist of what someone is saying in Khmer, but I couldn't translate it for you word for word, or I know 90% of how to say what I want to say but my grammar isn't correct or doesn't quite make sense... All to say we still have lots to learn but have come a long ways!
Celebratory 1 year anniversary in Cambodia lunch at the first place we ate food from after moving here last year! They had only been open a little over a week before we moved here and you can see it from our apartment. Yummy, and has coffee. 
Our beautiful sunsets here in Phnom Penh.

We had to have ice cream to celebrate! :)

In the last year Cambodia has truly become home in so many ways, so many friendships, finding daily rhythms, and learning how to cope with the heat. I cannot wait to see as we dwell here next year what God does, and the deeper relationships and roots that grow here for us.

Happy 2018 everyone. Enjoy where God has placed you, dwell in the land and trust Him.

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